Winter has definitely arrived in Denver. As I am writing this, it is eighteen degrees out and the snow has not stopped since six am. My next festival is still months away. The guys who cut the metal backing for my sculptures are in the process of relocating their shop, which has put much of my sculptural work on hold for the time being.
What's an artist to do?
This artist buys flowers. I have had a soft spot for flowers for as long as I can remember. Back in my early college days, one of my favorite photographers was Imogen Cunningham. Favorite painter? Georgia O'Keeffe.
In the past whenever I've photographed flowers, I have resorted to the longest lens, trying to get as close as possible, with as much detail and color as one could fit into an image. But a few weeks ago, as I reached into my camera bag I discovered a Holga lens, that I've had and hardly ever used. For those unfamiliar with the Holga, they are what is considered a "toy" camera. Holgas have a plastic lens, so images are never quite sharp. Adding to the fun, there are four settings on the lens: one person, three people, lots of people and mountains- all illustrated with a black and white graphic. This translates to the lens focal length, with one person granting a focal length of three feet and the mountains equaling infinity.
Sound like fun yet? Oh, wait, I forgot to mention that this Holgas don't have any sort of light meter, so unless you are carrying your own light meter, you have to guess at what the shutter speed and aperture might be. (This is actually a game I used to play in college- given an ISO of 400, and an aperture of 8, what do you think the shutter speed should be? Yeah, I'm a dork.)
I've never had much luck with Holgas, but I was amazed at what happened to my flower images once I put that lens on. I was forced to pull way back from the flower, as you might remember the closest focal range is three feet. The images became soft, and romantic. I was forced to look at the flower as a whole, instead of just the delicacy of one individual petal.
I've been playing around with image transfers in these photos. In the past I've typically transferred to wood and coated with Shellac. However with these images I'm transferring them to watercolor paper, and buffing them with a light layer of wax or varnish. The combination of the image and the print method really add to the "painterly" feel of these images.
I'll be continuing to work on this series throughout the winter. Interested in purchasing one of these prints? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org